Today I got hold of the release version of Windows 7 Ultimate x64. We are a Microsoft Partner company and we get our hands on these kind of things before the normal populace.
Sitting there with 3.2Gigs worth of Windows Vista Problem Solver in my hands got me thinking.
I need to try it.
But I need to do more than just try it. I am a Linux geek and FLOSS fan, so I haven’t used proprietary software on a large scale for a long time. The odd driver here and there, and the odd piece of software there, but I have lived a FLOSS life for many years now.
Working in an IT environment means that I deal with proprietary software on a daily basis.
And here I am, two-and-a-bit hours into a world I never thought I would have ventured into again.
What does this mean?
(Windows Crashed. I was updating Windows in the background and suddenly it locked up on me. Internet Explorer went black and I had to hard reset. Whenever Windows or a program crashes I will note it in parenthesis like this.)
As far as is possible I will replace my regular FLOSS utilities with proprietary ones, and as far as my Operating system goes that means Windows 7 in stead of Linux, and then the Microsoft defaults that go with it.
Yes folks that means Bing instead of Google, IE8 instead of Firefox, MS Office instead of OpenOffice, Outlook instead of Evolution and so on and so forth.
I know Google does not necessarily qualify as FLOSS, but I am going to live as if there are no options than the default for as long as possible.
So how am I fareing so far?
Like I mentioned earlier I installed Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 on my laptop. It is a Dual Core Pentium 2.17Ghz machine with 2gb Ram with on-board Intel Graphics. Not a scorcher by any standards, but it really performs well in combination with my OS of choice – Linux Mint.
How did it fare? It crashed five times in the first two hours after I installed it. Four of those five time I had to hard reset in order to continue running. It crashed a sixth time while I was writing this blog (see the note above,) (and on that note I needed to hard reset again, number seven)
Only after updating windows (yes there are some updates already available) could I install Bitdefender (I am sorry but I really don’t trust Windows Defender just yet) and the required mid-install reboot resulted in hard-reset-crash no 7. After reboot I was promptly informed that Bitdefender Firewall is not compatible with this version of Windows. Sigh.
Windows 7 weighs in at 3.2 Gigabytes as an ISO and almost 12Gig’s installed. After installation I looked around and found that I had no e-mail, no office tools. I basically had an OS. So I decided to install MS Office 7 Enterprise. For some reason Windows Explorer crashed every time I tried to install office. In fact it crashed every-time I tried to access the installation disk, and at least once the drive disappeared from Explorer until I rebooted. It was not even visible in Disk Management Utility.
The Win7 Interface is new, for Windows, and has some interesting features like dragging a Window to the side makes it take up half the screen and dragging it to the top makes it go fullscreen. Shaking a window with the mouse causes all the other windows to minimise and so on.
Nice touches in desktop useability where Windows has been lacking sorely. Unfortunately as far as I am concerned the Windows desktop experience still falls far behind those of Gnome, KDE and MacOS. No multiple desktops for one. I thrive on multiple desktops.
Transparency effects abound, and serves solely as eye-candy serving very little purpose productivity wise.
None. Windows mail is also gone. Yes, I am stuck with 11Gigs of dolled up uselessness.
on edit: It seems that Wordpad has improved by leaps and bounds – it even saves documents in .odt format. I discovered this on day three… one + point in my book.
So far, besides the crashes Windows 7 has felt reasonably nippy on my machine. Interestingly enough my windows performance rating for Win7 is 3.1, where it is rated as 3.2 in Vista. I am not sure why but can only hazard a guess that the numbers represent different values.
Summary for Day 1
I am still without MS Office, I just popped in the disk and it promptly caused Explorer to start misbehaving. Could this be a bad DVD? Well I used this very disk to install Office 2007 in Linux without any problems, and I used this DVD rom to burn some DVD’s and open them in Linux so the drive cannot be bad.
Besides, if the drive or the disk were bad they should not cause me to need to reboot.
Next up, I will need to get myself an SSH client, and getting to grips with my new ‘office.’
Read on for Day 2